By Luiza Brenner
VANCOUVER – Getting your monthly fix of culture can be expensive, especially in a city like Vancouver. If you don’t want to spend the big bucks on museum tickets or stand in never-ending lines on street festivals, the options are usually limited. But in November, there’s a solution: head east.
For the past 21 years, art-lovers and art-curious are encouraged to venture into the area bounded by Columbia Street and Victoria Drive, north of 1st Avenue, to celebrate the city’s vibrant creative community during the Eastside Culture Crawl — an annual four-day arts festival.
The two-decade-old event started with a group of artists, in Strathcona, that wished to facilitate a deeper relationship with the community. Esther Rausenberg, the Executive Director for the Eastside Culture Crawl, remembers: “In many ways, we started off as several artists’ buildings that wanted an opportunity to connect the public with our art. We wanted them to see the process of the art-making, so people could get an understanding of how a piece of art develops and evolves.” This year, 30,000 visitors are expected to engage with painters, sculptors, potters, photographers, glassblowers, furniture designers, and much more.
This year’s edition of the Eastside Culture Crawl will run from November 16 to 19 in studios, homes, and garages, showcasing the work of over 500 artists — from recent-graduates to internationally established ones. The exchange between makers is another positive aspect of the event: “The Culture Crawl is a great opportunity for young and emerging artists to connect with more established ones and who have been around for a long time. They can get advice regarding how to make their studio look, how to price their work, and how to present themselves,” says Rausenberg.
Attendees can also look forward to a series of workshops and demonstrations to further expand their knowledge of the art-making process. Crawlers will have the opportunity to learn about chainsaw carving, photo transfer, stained glass, ceramics, and wax carving. The invitation is extended to all: “This is an environment that, to many people, is quite comfortable in terms of their first entrance into the visual arts,” Rausenberg concludes. Newcomers and old hogs — all are welcome.
The Eastside Culture Crawl will take place from November 16 – 19.Art, Eastside Culture Crawl